The Cizmas farm

by admin on 21/06/2013

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After having left Sighisoara on the way to Brasov, we turned left and arrived soon after at the organic farm of Dan and Tincuta Cizmas in the village of Topa.

We were met by Dan Cismas, who invited us to enter a room where he and his wife Tincuta display some of their products, like jams and herbal teas. The jams were in hexagonal glasses, while the herbal teas were packed in plastic bags with labels made by Tincuta’s cousin.

Their farm is certified as an organic farm and having 34 hectares of land is enough for self sufficiency. Dan said that the locals only cultivated corn and potatoes, but he wanted to be a model farmer for other people in the village and he said that if you intend to have an organic farm you need to constantly improve your way of farming and always be willing to try something new. His goal is to make farmers running conventional farms to convert to organic farming.

The family has 4 children, two sons and two daughters, and his youngest son repairs their tractors and other machines.

The family also cultivates one hectare of Damask roses, renowned for their fine fragrance,  in order to make jam and tea. Dan proudly told my guide that 25 % of income from the farm comes from rose jam.

They collect many medicinal herbs for tea and they are also growing vegetables in greenhouses. They sell their products in Bucharest and Brasov where they have 20 families to which they deliver jam and tea once a week.

They have 15 cows and a few goats from which they get milk. Three times a week they deliver milk and cheese to families in Sighisoara, and they deliver milk twice weekly to select families in the village of Topa.

The Cismas family produces 4 to 5 types of cheese, among others a cheese called telemea – salted cheese with herbs. The family cooperates with other organic producers like beekeepers from the village of Topa, and Dan barters milk and cheese for honey.

They have two solar-powered driers and a big one with electrical power where they dry herbs for herbal teas, but also vegetables that are cut in small pieces and mixed with salt.

Dan is also co-president of Eco Ruralis, the national association for small-scale organic and traditional farmers, and he’s doing all he can to prevent landgrabbing in Romania.

The family receives extra subsidies for organic farming. They also have volunteers from many countries who stay at their farm for some months in order to help them.

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